I got the chance this past Thursday to meet Chris Offutt in person.  My Advanced Fiction professor, an accomplished author himself, was actually a student under Offutt back in his grad school days and so we were lucky enough to have him sit in on our class before his reading that night.  It’s weird, sometimes you can hear things for the 10th time and suddenly they sink in and make even more sense.  Not to say Mr. Offutt didn’t bring anything new to our class, but as his teachings probably had an impact on our own professor, it’d be ignoring such facts to say that my professor didn’t preach some of the same ideas.  To say the least, it was one of the best classes I’ve experienced here at school and unfortunately I couldn’t stay to hear what was said to be a great reading which was really, really disappointing because frankly, his stuff is that good.  I’m not gonna try and tell you what his style is like or anything like that – I think labeling someone is bs.  But, I will say that he doesn’t complicate things with excessive descriptions, making it easy to focus on what you should be focusing on – the actual story.

To prepare for his sit-in we read a few stories that I suggest you pick up and read as well….

Out of Kentucky Straight Stories –

Old of the Moon

From Out of the Woods –

Out of the Woods

Moscow, Idaho


From Ploughshares –

The Spot (personal favorite)

and a personal essay from Ace Weekly –